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CICERO AND THE STABILITY OF STATES

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Abstract:

Cicero’s views on the mixed constitution as a device for ensuring the stability of states have typically been considered derivative at best. The article argues for the originality and interest of Cicero's views on this topic. After a survey of ancient ideas on the mixed constitution, it shows how Cicero creatively adapted these ideas to analyse the Roman situation of his time. His version of the theory of the mixed constitution is notable for two innovations: an argument that stability is possible even under conditions of high inequality, and an account of constitutional mixture that emphasizes the role of the ‘monarchic’ element in promoting concord and stability and meeting unexpected challenges.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Political Science and International Relations Programme, PO Box 600, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand Xavier.Marquez@vuw. ac.nz

Publication date: January 1, 2011

imp/hpt/2011/00000032/00000003/art00002
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